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How the pandemic has affected some of our members and their art

Chloe Gerhardt, Chichester

I joined Chichester Art Society as soon as I moved here from Brighton so that I could get to know others who paint, but events overtook that plan. Most of my art is a sort of diary, going for walks with watercolours and pens to capture the places I visit.
One of my lockdown challenges was to teach myself oil painting, painting landscapes, portraits then moving on to still life studies in the house and in my garden. I created a set of portraits of my family also a set of watercolours from past photos taken in Brighton. 
Importantly though, my daily walks around Chichester have proved productive for my watercolours studies. 
Going through these dark times, I hope my painting techniques have improved, if lockdown hasn’t done that nothing will! 

Sharon Dean, Chichester


Having art to focus on has been a real lifeline, it has given me a purpose every day and I’ve taken part in several art workshops via Zoom. In addition to this I’ve kept in touch with my art friends on email, which has enabled us to share our latest works, giving each other the encouragement and inspiration we need. During the summer months when the lockdown restrictions were lifted we regularly met up outdoors at different locations, including the Trundle and Dell Quay for sketching and painting sessions; it was lovely to get together and it really boosted our morale. 
I think that going through the pandemic has helped me to appreciate even more the natural world and the simple things of life and this has definitely influenced my art. 

Liz Brown, Walberton


I would describe my work as always evolving and I enjoy painting a range of subjects and using different mediums. My ambition is to work more loosely, which I think I have nearly achieved, helped by returning to oils. Recently I have also been experimenting with encaustic art: where coloured waxes are moved around, with heat, to form more abstract scenes. Some of my work reflects on what is going on in the world, often in war torn areas especially where children are suffering, this is the work I am most proud of. 
The pandemic has changed the lives of everyone, but I have counted myself very blessed to live in a beautiful part of Sussex, surrounded by countryside where it has been possible to walk and enjoy nature, offering many possibilities for future artwork?

Denise Lickorish, Huston


I like to work in different mediums enjoying watercolours, acrylic and soft pastels mostly, depending on mood or subject. My work usually depicts my special love of nature and animals.
At the start of the pandemic, I felt quite content to paint at home and when allowed I would meet up with a friend in their garden and enjoy painting and chatting. This last lockdown felt quite different, I guess it was winter with lots of grey days it was more depressing. I missed the chat and banter of fellow artist friends, although my close friends and I have kept in touch by phone it is not quite the same and I have struggled to find the enthusiasm to paint.
With Spring in the air and the changes the vaccination will bring I can now start to look forward and feel eager to get the paint 
brushes out again.

Roger Matthews, Bedhampton


Lockdown has encouraged me to branch out from watercolour and experiment with acrylic paint inspired by the Hashim Akib in his book ‘Vibrant Acrylics’. In the brief interlude between lockdowns I managed to attend one of his all-day acrylic workshops accompanied – at a safe distance – by my eldest granddaughter
With lockdowns, tiers and lockdown again it’s not been clear whether or not outdoor painting was a permitted pursuit, so for a while our garden became the best painting venue. 
During the first lockdown I missed demonstrations and workshops with the Art Society, so I worked through a book called ‘Turner’s Apprentice – A Watercolour Masterclass’ by Tony Swibert which has really helped me to understand some of the techniques used by JMW Turner.